I’m what’s colloquially known as a ‘Food Digger’. Dinner, yes. Sex, no. But don’t Haute the player.
I was tempted to start this off with a caveat. Something universal. ‘Unless you’ve walked a blah blah’ but, I don’t apologise for my actions, and adulthood has evaporated the amount of fucks I have to give.
This year marks my thirtieth, and I’m unsure if I’ve grown as a person, or grown numb. Whatever the reason, I’ve stopped pursuing things that don’t present me with an immediate, clear-cut goal. My ‘too hard’ basket has evolved into vast landfill.
Which brings me neatly to sex. The entirety of that act has been consigned to the bin. The back seat has taken a back seat.
So if this is a confession, so be it. I’ve been using people for food.
When change usually happens, there’s usually a name attached. His name was Gary. He was a failed food writer, now plying his trade in the custodial arts. I agreed to such an engagement, because the last number on my dance card was The Charleston. 1920’s reference. Look it up.
Upon my arrival, I knew it was a mistake. His tightly folded arms and sunken hazel globes gave no hint as to what would come next. Gary had two amazing qualities: The ability to adequately sum up his life in ten minutes or less, and his nose. Although permanently crooked, it was bloodhound grade, and solely attuned to the cream of the eatery crop.
A bit of context, the City I live in is a culinary wonderland, but I knew not where the rabbit hole lay. My favourite restaurant earned the title by virtue of location. It was a mere wobble down the stairs of my apartment, and they delivered for free.
Back to Gary, apparently the Cuban eatery we sat in was ‘tits’.
We ended up back at his. It held not a candle to the Tamale of an hour previous. The beef, rare as rare could be, velvet to the touch, ensconced in a blanket of searing potato, dressed in a fine gin-tinged bow that was as old as my car. There was a party in my mouth, but no-one else was on the list. Sorry mate, not tonight.
It’s not even Gary’s fault. Everything that should have happened did, but it was ‘meh’ in comparison. I didn’t plan to see him again until he mentioned a ‘small Italian joint’
The following Saturday, there we sat. In a rolling sea of stereotype. The walls were painted in a Sicilian vista, to legitimise the fact it was an Italian Restaurant. It didn’t need it. The candle holders were old wine bottles.
As my fair culinary ward (or pimp?) ordered for me, I felt a wave of guilt rising over my fast developing cankles. Am I just using this guy? That’s especially not me. But climbing back into the conversational world, I saw it was the truth. The spewing internal fires of shame threatened to strip me bare.
‘Apologise and Flee’ was the escape route agreed upon.
But alas, I faffed, and by the time my Linguini arrived, all was lost.
The binding ropes of chilli and garlic held me from my better judgement, I knew it was the wrong thing to do, but I couldn’t stop. I dove, hands first into the olive pool of the Mediterranean, but I put up no struggle as the logical me drowned off the coast of the Café Palermo.
We ended up back at is, my head lost, eyes wandering through the warmest of orange fugues, legs weak, palms sweaty. Mama’s Linguini.
We sat on the couch. Gary put his hand on my leg. It felt inert. He looked at me, concerned. His eyes wandering all over my face, mouth chattering inquiry of my health. He took a lack of cogent response as a confirmation of the worst.
And while I did leave, I did not go home.
I cheated on him, returning to the arms of Café Palermo. Linguini me, babe.
It didn’t last with Gary. The loose lips of the maitre’d/delivery driver saw to that, as the complete social media immolation alluded toward.
So, Gary. Yes. I used you, but only for the best of you.
I’m sorry, but don’t haute the player.